2001 Anam Cara
California: Napa Valley
What we say
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Mission Codename: A recipe for greatness
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Rediscover one of our favorite red blends, and score some at a better price!
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Iridesse
Wine Subject: 2001 Anam Cara
Winemaker: Patrick and Genevieve Llerena
NOTE: With so many exceptional wines to choose from we rarely run a wine more than once
We ran this great wine back in August, and when I found myself dreaming about it again recently, I got on the phone and called up winemaker Patrick Llerena. I explained to Patrick that I had recently described his wine to an Asset (spy-talk for a clandestine source, often another agent) as a wine that I could enjoy in most circumstances. He was thrilled to hear this, of course, and when I asked him for another allocation for our Operatives (you, dear reader), he happily obliged.
For today only, we got our hands on a small number of cases. Buy early, because we expect to sell out.
Here’s what I wrote about the wine last time we listed it:
Top Secret Recipe for a great red wine:
1) Start with gorgeous, fertile Napa Valley vineyards
2) Add a dash of expert growers
3) Add equal helpings of winemakers Patrick and Genevieve Llerena
4) Crush and ferment grapes of the following type and in the following proportion: 85% Sangiovese (Mount Veeder, Napa Valley), 10% Old Vine Zinfandel (Calistoga, Napa Valley), 5% Cabernet Sauvignon (Calistoga, Napa Valley)
5) Age to perfection, bottle and enjoy!
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Rich and super-dark plum with great legs – even if it did have more than four of them!
Smell – When we opened this deep red, almost purple wine, our noses got a rush of cherry bark and sweet young strawberry. There was a definite alcohol twang as well, but this mellowed with time spent in the glass.
Feel – This wine has an easy, wet feel in the mouth, with gentle tannins.
Taste – Early tastes revealed a good soft oak flavor, coupled with sweetness and freshness we haven’t found in recent tastings of California red blends, which have tended to favor Zinfndel and Cabernet. Credit that sweetness to the Sangiovese found in this superb wine.
Finish – Long-lasting, all over mouth with sweet flavors that taper off nicely.
Conclusion – After a little time in the air (we recommend decanting this wine for at least an hour to soften it and open it up) and the wine lost some of its harsh alcohol and became far more fruity and juicy. This wine also has mellow, well balanced tannins that you feel mid-tongue.
We enjoyed this wine in bigger gulps, which is a fun way to drink it. Its also a safe way to drink lots of it as the alcohol content is fairly low.
The perfect wine to enjoy with a meal or on the patio on a warm summer night, this wine gets a *BIG *Wine Spies recommendation!
Note: This wine is produced in small numbers and is very difficult to find outside of Napa or Sonoma Counties. The Wine Spies have wrangled a small allocation for your enjoyment.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Mount Veeder vineyard where the grapes were grown for this wine is Classified Top Secret, however, Mt. Veeder and some interesting vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo
85% Sangiovese, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley
10% Old Vine Zinfandel, Calistoga, Napa Valley
5% Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga, Napa Valley
Appellation: Mount Veeder
What the winery says
This wine truly expresses what we think of as Iridescence of Flavors. A perfume of fresh berries, lavender, and spice rises off of the deep dark purple nectar. What do you taste? Is it those little wild strawberries you find by the side of the road? Isn’t there also a bit of interesting, slightly musky, leathery richness? That big jammy fruit core comes from the bit of hand-selected treasures from 108 year-old Zinfandel vines in Calistoga at the top of Napa Valley. Classic Sangiovese acid finishes this wine with Tuscan elegance and a bit of lavender that comes the Mt. Veeder appellation of Napa Valley.
Anam Cara means Soul Mate in Gaelic. The finish of this wine expresses so much of what we are and why we do what we do. It stays on the palate and you can ponder the flavors as they shift and change from on to another, leading you deeper and deeper…
85% Sangiovese, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley 10% Old Vine Zinfandel, Calistoga, Napa Valley 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga, Napa Valley